Fri | Jul 19, 2019

2018 FIFA World Cup FINAL | Croatian president asks Russia to back her team

Published:Sunday | July 15, 2018 | 8:05 AM
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic (left) presents a T-shirt to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Sunday, July 15, 2018.

MOSCOW (AP):​

The Croatian president has called on Russians to support Croatia in the World Cup final.

In a video message recorded on a plane and posted to Facebook , Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic says in Russian "You are great hosts. Support Croatia today. Let's be happy together."

Dressed in Croatian red-and-white, she then leads a chant of "Croatia, Croatia, Croatia."

Croatia's political and football leaders have tried to smooth over relations with Russia after their team knocked the host nation out in the quarter-finals.

After that game, some Russian social media users were angered when Croatia defender Domagoj Vida praised neighbouring Ukraine in a video posted online. Vida has apologised for any offense, saying he meant to pay tribute to friends in Ukraine and not to comment on the political tension between Ukraine and Russia.